The Children’s Books That Inspired “Ironweed” Author William Kennedy


Photo by Casey Seiler

Author William Kennedy, right, and his son Brendan, left, talk to students about writing stories on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, at Public School 20 in Albany, NY

Cindy Schultz / Time Union Archives

Perhaps unique in the history of American literature, William Kennedy and his son Brendan collaborated on two children’s books, “Charlie Malarkey and the Belly-Button Machine” and “Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose” – fanciful tales from bedtime stories Pulitzer Prize-winning Kennedy seduced his children.

Times Union editor-in-chief Casey Seiler, who co-directed a documentary on William Kennedy, spoke to the writers about their collaboration and the importance of reading to children. All three will be on the October 4 fundraising schedule for The Wizard’s Wardrobe, a Capital Region nonprofit dedicated to promoting reading and education in general.

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